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-   -   Safe note changes when adding an extra note but why? (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1587423)

thefollower 02-09-2013 08:55 PM

Safe note changes when adding an extra note but why?
 
Hey

I was doing some playing over some simple synths.

I started with just an E note going and i played e minor over it... i only really felt the 5th and the root were nice notes to finish a lick on.

I then added the note A to the synth so the underlying "chord" although its only 2 notes so not a chord now had:

root + 4th (E + A) (or is the interval flat 4th in minor ? i still get that confused)


Now the 5th in E minor no longer felt like it sat well with this underlying sound. How ever the 5th in A minor sat perfectly fine.

Is there an explaination to the cause of this? My mind just felt that A minor felt better rather than E minor. Even though the two notes would sit perfectly fine in both E and A minor keys... =/

jazz_rock_feel 02-09-2013 09:16 PM

The unison/octave and fifth are the most stable intervals, which is why it sounded good to end on the root and 5th when you were playing over just an E. When you added an A to the chord, the fifth no longer works as nicely because it's a B which is a second away from A and thus very unstable. The reason the fifth in A minor sat well was because the fifth in A minor is E and part of your chord.

There are huge gaps in your knowledge.

thefollower 02-09-2013 09:33 PM

So would any notes in E minor bar the E & A actually work well once I added the A to the underlying sound?

TheMetalMan94 02-09-2013 10:52 PM

It would probably be best you try your hand at learning some interval theory followed by chord theory. It will benefit you a lot. Specifically the major scale/building major chords/making minor chords from major chords.

cdgraves 02-09-2013 11:29 PM

If you're going to accent a note that's not already in the chord you need to have a good reason.

awesomo41894 02-09-2013 11:34 PM

My take on this, is that, from a non theory standpoint, play what sounds good to you. U can make any note work. In super super simple terms, b didnt work over a, because the interval between that is not really a pleasant one. Over say an E A diad, notes that i would use would depend on the mood i want. The biggest suggestion i have, is USE your ears, and your soul. U can make ANY NOTE work, if it clashes, u can bend it or slide it. u CAN make any note work. Thats the beauty of music, as long as you have soul behind it. If u make your guitar cry, laugh, yell, whine, etc, and mean what u play, it will ALWAYS sound good. A good exercise i like, is take a super simple thing, like Gmin7, and just make a loop of that. Then, imagine a conversation over that, and mimic the speech patterns on guitar. Make up anything u want. Try and tell the story with the notes. U can never go wrong doing that. ALSO, never play anything u dont hear in your head. if you dont hear anything, dont play anything.

justlivin 02-09-2013 11:38 PM

If you change, what you feel is, your root from E to A it makes much more sense. E to A is a perfect fourth. If you consider A your root, you now have a perfect fifth between your two notes. The E tonicizes the A much easier than the reverse.

food1010 02-10-2013 01:31 AM

If you have E and A, the reason that the fifth of E doesn't sit well is that the fifth of E is B. The reason the fifth of A sits well is that it is E.

An E minor chord is built with E G and B. An A minor chord is built with A C E. Make sense?

thefollower 02-10-2013 02:29 AM

It makes sense yes, its just odd how our brains perceive it that the B won't fit well. Its like the mind is automatically perferring to consider things from A minor perspective.

food1010 02-10-2013 02:53 AM

I'm not really sure what you're getting at.

If you want me to go into the logic of how certain combinations of pitch frequencies line up better than others, I will.

However, for the sake of it being 2 in the morning, I'll save it for another day. I'll try to summarize it pretty briefly.

In A minor, the tonic note sounds at 440 Hz (in a particular octave). If you want to get another octave, just multiply this frequency by 2 (to go up an octave) or divide it by 2 (to go down an octave). Octaves are the most consonant harmony because the two waves line up more often than other harmonies. A fifth is the second most consonant harmony, followed by a fourth. The proportion of the interval of a fifth above is 3:2, whereas a fourth is 4:3.

Actually, I'm just going to link you to a post I made a while back that explains all of this in immense detail, and also includes pictures. Give me a minute.

Edit: Actually, it's not quite the same information you're looking for. I will recycle this picture from that post though:


So that chart gives you a pretty good idea of how the harmonic series works. An octave has double the frequency. A fifth has 3/2 the frequency. That chart gives you a way to visualize how all that stuff lines up.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm tired and probably missed a lot of important details but I didn't want to type a god damn novel.

AlanHB 02-10-2013 08:22 AM

I think I kinda get it.

So we start with an E note drone. TS proceeds to play E minor over it at it sounds good. Then TS adds an A note to the E note and now says that E minor doesn't sound good over it anymore.

TS, Im going to guess that you've created a V - i cadence, so there's no more E minor chord, it's an E major. Your progression has become by virtue of your playing a progression which goes E - Am, the strongest cadence there is. For this reason the progression is now in Am and an E minor scale will have some accidentals that you don't like.

AeolianWolf 02-10-2013 02:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefollower
It makes sense yes, its just odd how our brains perceive it that the B won't fit well. Its like the mind is automatically perferring to consider things from A minor perspective.


i think you need a lot more experience with music before you can worry about things like this -- you're missing huge gaps of understanding and they need to be remedied first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomo41894
My take on this, is that, from a non theory standpoint, play what sounds good to you. U can make any note work. In super super simple terms, b didnt work over a, because the interval between that is not really a pleasant one. Over say an E A diad, notes that i would use would depend on the mood i want. The biggest suggestion i have, is USE your ears, and your soul. U can make ANY NOTE work, if it clashes, u can bend it or slide it. u CAN make any note work. Thats the beauty of music, as long as you have soul behind it. If u make your guitar cry, laugh, yell, whine, etc, and mean what u play, it will ALWAYS sound good. A good exercise i like, is take a super simple thing, like Gmin7, and just make a loop of that. Then, imagine a conversation over that, and mimic the speech patterns on guitar. Make up anything u want. Try and tell the story with the notes. U can never go wrong doing that. ALSO, never play anything u dont hear in your head. if you dont hear anything, dont play anything.


go "mean" to play an F over a Gmaj7 chord, come back, and tell me your method works.

aside from being horrendously unstructured, this approach is going to leave a lot to be desired. if i were you, i would have stopped with "play what sounds good to you" and left out the "feel" bollocks, which is a load of craft. the art without the craft is essentially utter shit -- that's how we ended up with lil wayne.

i strongly suggest you ignore this advice, TS. take the opposite route and actually learn how to manipulate the factors available to you. learn your craft. you'll find it will get you further than this hippie "use your soul, make your guitar cry" bullcrap.

it only really works if you go back to 1963, smoke your weight in mary jane, and play the D, C, and G open chords ad infinitum. seemed to work for them pretty well.


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